Why are sawed off shotguns illegal and what are they?

A sawed-off shotgun is a type of close-combat military gun with a shorter barrel. The gun barrel measurement typically lies under 18 inches (46 cm). It’s frequently designed with a shortened or nonexistent stock. The popular name for a sawn-off shotgun is a short-barreled shotgun, shorty, or boom stick. Contrary to popular belief, gun barrels do not require to design with sawed shorter.

What Are Sawed Off Shotguns?

The sawn-off shotgun has a lesser effective range than a normal shotgun because of a lower muzzle velocity, but its shorter length makes it simpler to hide and move. The weapon is strong and tiny, making it particularly useful for close-quarters fighting in a military setting. Short-barreled battle shotguns are used as auxiliary weapons by military vehicle personnel. Military entry teams frequently breach and enter doorways in urban battle zones using entry shotguns.

What Are Sawed Off Shotguns

The phrase is frequently used to describe illegal weapons made by removing the barrel from a typical shotgun. Pump-action or semi-automatic shotguns typically have a tube magazine attached to the underside of the barrel, limiting the barrel length the same as a magazine tube unless it's also modified, which is technically much more difficult than shortening the barrel.

The shotgun barrel without a tube magazine can be cut to any length. However, they are much less common than repeating-fire shotguns with tubular magazines. The common repeating-fire shotguns, which have box magazines, do not lose the shell capacity when sawed off. Shotguns created with barrels shorter than the required minimum length typically belongs to specific groups.

Why Are Sawed Off Shotguns Illegal?

Sawed Off Shotguns Illegal

To make it simpler to conceal beneath a coat or in a bag, thieves sometimes chop off a portion of a shotgun's barrel. A sawn-off shotgun is technically no more powerful than a regular shotgun when it is fired, but it is far less precise since the shot pellets fly out less deliberately, which might make it more hazardous for the criminal employing it.

Legality Of Sawed Off Shotguns In Different Countries

Why are sawed off shotguns illegal? This depends on various laws passed differebnt countries.

Sawed Off Shotguns In Different Countries

1. Australia

In the state of Victoria, a shotgun's barrel cannot be cut shorter in order to modify the classification of the shotgun. Any modification to the barrel's length in some states calls for the Chief Commissioner of Police's approval.

2. Canada

Shotguns with short barrels that are manually fired and not semi-automatics are not subject to restrictions as long as the barrel is not altered from its factory length. As long as they are not pistols, there is no legal minimum for shotgun barrel length; shotguns with barrels as small as 8.5 inches are available in Canada.

It is against the law for anybody other than a reputable gun maker to saw, cut, or otherwise, reduce a shotgun's barrel to a length of less than 457 mm (18 inches).

3. Czech Republic

Short-barreled shotguns are always considered category B weapons, necessitating the issuance of a gun license (zbrojni prukaz), including the self-defense category.

4. Germany

Similar to owning any other firearm in Germany, owning a sawed-off shotgun is permissible with a weapon possession permit (Waffenbesitzkarte). Only pump-action shotguns are subject to restrictions; they must have a minimum barrel length of 45 cm and an overall length of 90 cm to be accepted. The length of other firearms is up to you. The firearm is regarded as a handgun and handled as such by the law if the barrel length is less than 30 cm or the overall length is less than 60 cm.

5. Ireland

When a shotgun or rifle's barrel is cut down, the minimum penalty for incarceration is presumed to be five years for a first offense and five years for a second or subsequent offense.

6. Russia

It is not against the law to modify a firearm's barrel length. Old smoothbore hunting shotguns are designed with shortened barrels. These guns are also a good choice for purchase, selling, or owning (if the barrel length is at least 500 mm). If done at a gun shop, owners are permitted to shorten the buttstock length or the barrel length of their hunting shotgun or rifle. Shotguns may be modified to have a pistol grip and a removable buttstock. Less than 500 mm barrel length on a firearm made it unlawful and required confiscation.

7. United Kingdom

If carried on a shotgun certificate, side-by-side, over-under, bolt-action, and lever-action shotguns must adhere to the requirement of a 24-inch minimum barrel length in the United Kingdom. If possessed under a gun certificate and the applicant has shown that they have a "good reason" for ownership, they must adhere to the standard configuration of other Section 1 firearms, which calls for a minimum barrel length of 12 inches and a minimum overall length of 24 inches.

Shotguns that are registered with a shotgun certificate must either not have a magazine or one that can only contain two rounds. There are no magazine limitations on shotguns that are registered as weapons.

8. United States

In accordance with National Firearms Act, it is unlawful for a private individual to own sawed-off modern users smokeless powder shotgun with a barrel length less than 18 inches (46 cm) or a minimum overall length of the weapon, including the 18-inch minimum barrel, of less than 26 inches (66 cm) without first obtaining a tax-paid registration from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, which includes An increasingly common method of registering SBSs with the BATFE is through gun trusts. Under federal law, short-barreled muzzleloading shotguns that use black powder are permitted.


The sawn-off shotgun was a frequent weapon in armed robberies during and immediately after the 1960s in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, where handguns are not readily available, and it is this application that most people connect with the weapon.

Short "mini shells" with lighter shots and powder loading are sometimes used by operators of short-barreled shotguns for comfortable, everyday use when the shotguns are configured without large stocks.

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Debamalya Mukherjee

Debamalya is a professional content writer from Kolkata, India. Constantly improving himself in this industry for more than three years, he has amassed immense knowledge regarding his niches of writing tech and gaming articles. He loves spending time with his cats, along with playing every new PC action game as soon as possible.

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